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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Upon this rock

Upon this rock

The readings today include Matthew 16:13-20. Jesus is revealed, by the Father, as Lord. He instructs the apostles not to tell anyone of this. He stated "I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church."

What happened after Christ's crucifixion, death and resurrection are well documented in the gospels. However, exactly how the church was built, by Peter, requires some looking into to get more information. The Acts of the Apostles has much of this information. Peter did not work alone, but much of the spread of the good news came through Paul and other Evangelists, and went on under the duress of Roman persecution, and for many centuries. In addition to the gospel, historians look to contemporaneous documents from which to glean information to fill in the blanks.

God in his omniscience most likely could foresee what the future of the church would be. His creation, mankind, pushed forward into many lands and ultimately spread the gospel throughout the Western and New Worlds, and indeed into all the continents. But there has been division, greater and less manifestations of what the Church would become, and times when man has faltered.

What may be the most inspiring is the fact that Jesus' church, designated to be built upon the rock of Peter the disciple by Christ himself, has withstood over 2,000 years of peace, war, light and darkness, to get where we are today. I am glad to be a Catholic and a Christian, and am humbled by the numbers of faithful throughout the world. Peter was not perfect, but lived out his mission and allowed God to use him to spread the good news and save the souls of all who would choose to accept his Word. We are all called, like Peter, to be a rock of God's work in the world. Will we respond with an astounding YES?

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